“I just need you to know you really wrecked my life.”
These words burst across the table from a student who attended Formation Weekend.
“Like, as soon as I heard two hours of silence and solitude my first thought was no way, but Jesus was like ‘Hey, you’re going’ and He hasn’t stopped blowing my mind since.”
Formation Weekend equips students in various spiritual disciplines by creating an experience that aims to educate students 20% of the time and spend the other 80% of the trip engaging in those disciplines. This year students had a great variety of disciplines to choose from including silence and solitude, devotional reading, slowing, mentoring, evangelism, fasting, care of the earth, journaling, and more.
This trip invited WinShape College Program students along with Berry College students to enjoy time with God on mountain campus at Berry College. Disciplines were taught by WinShape College Program Staff, Berry College Chaplain’s Office Staff, and Berry College Campus Outreach Staff.
Our hope in creating this experience is to see students interact with God through these disciplines throughout college, creating habits that pervade their routines and structures for the rest of their lives.
Altering our routines and rhythms or as a college freshman puts it, “wrecking our life” feels uncomfortable at first. Spending two hours walking around Oak Hill in silence to commune with God would feel awfully strange and potentially boring to someone who rarely finds themselves alone. At Formation Weekend, we sat in the discomfort, similar to working new muscles in a new exercise program, new muscles that as they are trained over time will grow and grow to create faithful, fruitful, abiding followers of Jesus.
For some of us, formation first took some demolishing to build anew. For others, formation took some rearranging. Yet for all of us, formation took us closer to the Father.